Ways to Prevent the Flu

Flu season is like the guest that overstayed their welcome. Yes, it is April and yes, the flu is still lingering, so it is crucial to be precautious. Read on to learn more about the flu and how to defend yourself from it. 

What is the flu?

Influenza, or “the flu," is a contagious respiratory infection caused by airborne viruses. The viral infection enters the body through the nose or mouth. Symptoms of the flu may seem similar to those of the common cold, but they are more intense. According to the CDC, symptoms may include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chill, fatigue and at times, diarrhea and vomiting.  

The severity of the flu can vary – some cases can be easily treated, and others are fatal. This is why it is important to know what actions to take in order to control the spread of infection. 

Prevention

Getting vaccinated is the best method for flu prevention. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in one’s body which then fight against the infection with its own viruses. Vaccine effectiveness can vary depending on the strain of infection as well as the person infected. It’s not fool-proof, but it is a good protective measure to take. The CDC states that flu vaccinations reduce the risk of getting sick by 40 to 60 percent among the population. All Patient Plus clinics offer flu shots, which are covered by most accepted insurance providers.

Good hygiene habits should be in your daily routine, especially during flu season. Always remember to cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands regularly. Try to avoid others when you’re sick, and stay home if possible. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because you never know what surfaces might be contaminated. Disinfect surfaces in high-traffic areas regularly. 

Treatment

Drinking fluids and getting plenty of rest are the best ways to treat the flu. In most cases, taking over-the-counter decongestants and pain relievers may control the symptoms and help you feel better. If you are seen by a doctor within 48 hours of symptoms, there's an antiviral medication available that can be prescribed to assist in a speedy recovery.


Patient Plus Urgent Care – Get in, Get better.

When you’re sick or injured, whether routine or urgent, quality medical care should be easy to find and available when you need it. That’s the idea behind Patient Plus Urgent Care, with convenient locations in Mid City, Bocage, Southdowns, and now, Delmont.

Patient Plus treats most common illnesses and injuries — the sniffles, rashes, fevers, aches, breaks and other conditions that deserve prompt treatment, but aren’t serious enough to require a trip to the nearest emergency room. The clinics provide complete diagnostic services, including X-rays, EKGs and flu and strep tests. Other services include physicals, vaccinations and more. Patient Plus clinics are open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and patients never need to call first or make an appointment.